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August 15 2012

Watch Joss Whedon in the premiere of Husbands Season Two. There's a bit of swearing (and Amber Benson, Emma Caulfield, Dichen Lachman, and Felicia Day as well).

The writing has gotten even better than Season 1. How is that possible?
Is that Felicia Day in the advert? (around the 04:01 mark)
Aha, possibly! It does look like her.
Tricia Helfer as sex robot and Dichen Lachman as sex doll, I can die happy now
Heart emoticon!
Jane confirmed that it's Felicia on her Twitter account. Whedonverse actors galore.
I told everyone how great it is!!! :D

Seriously... This needs to be full fledged TV length... Just saying!!! :D
That last bit was... a little weird though. I mean, I get it. Still weird.

SO MANY CAMEOS I could die from a cameoverdose.
OMG I didn't recognize Amber Benson the first time through, she is hilarious as anti-filth fanatic! And I didn't recognize Felicia either (I'm not very observant the first time I watch... but I noticed the banana right away!).
Let's not typecast Dichen as a sex doll, now... :-)
I know it's not Whedon-related at all, but Sasha Roiz was a pleasant surprise to spot, too.
The cameos were amazing, and so it was the whole episode. I backed this show and I'm so happy that I did.
Hmmmm. I love the people involved with this, but I can't say I enjoyed this. I've never liked the self-centered brat screwing up the lives of people who love them story. I did think that the idea was interesting that he was being asked to act less gay rather than being asked to act less immature. I mean he is acting like a spoiled 12 year old. Do they really want him to act like a spoiled straight 12 year old rather than a spoiled gay 12 year old? Somehow I don't think it will help.
I'm probably not getting it because I think it would be better once it got over the gay stuff.
I don't think it's going to get over its premise anytime soon. Although, hang on, am I misreading deadpan again? I am very sorry if so.
It's pretty much the raison d'etre.
newcj, maybe that's the arc of the season? Realizing they got so caught up in what other people were telling them to do they didn't stop to realize it wasn't the gay, it was the bratty. That'd be nice, because the character is a brat and annoys me.
Oh wow. All of this was amusing, but the best part was definitely Amber Benson. I wish she acted more these days.
Wow... It seems like a lot of people either don't understand this show or don't want to?
I really want to like and understand this show, and have even succeeded to a certain degree, but I, too, often find the brattiness off-putting.

(I feel like I'm supposed to find it endearing?! But no such luck so far. I also did not fully get the last part, despite laughing at the doll and robot references.)

Joss has such brilliant comedic timing!
That was what I was wondering, The One True bIX. It could get really interesting if that is the tact they take.
Really, lisawinggomez? I would love for you to elaborate.
I'm not sure it's a case of not "understanding" the show, lisatwingomez, but I know that for me personally, Cheeks' character is tad difficult to comprehend or sympathize with since he comes off as less "Hooray for being gay!!" and more "Peter Pan clone who lacks empathy for those not like him" (i.e. immature, lacks filters, sees his hedonism as The Shizney and Brady's bowing and scraping to the public letting down his end of the queer relationship down).

Now, I admit I've only seen parts of Husbands' S1 (which makes Alessandra Torresani's lack of appearance in the S2 opener odd since she seemed to be a big character) so maybe there's stuff I missed that makes Cheeks look better, but even the asshole characters I love to watch (Gregory House (House M.D.), Blackadder (Blackadder I-VI), Arnold Rimmer (Red Dwarf), Dead Larry Sizemore (Burn Notice), etc.) have to strike me as someone who's dickish for reasons I can get behind. Cheeks' displayed brattiness and lack of empathy to his beloved's situation leaves me kinda cold...which honestly is the same kind of feeling I got when the characters were called "Will" and "Jack."

Haaa, enjoyed that a lot. Amber and Joss were perfect. Didn't really get the mini-story at the end though, what was that in aid of?
I believe the scene at the end is meant to be from a CW like TV show, pointing out how female homosexuality in media is hyper sexualized and more acceptable while male homosexual sex scenes are viewed as offensive and seldom shown.
I don't disagree about Cheeks being bratty, but I feel that the same annoying qualities are often seen to be cute and funny in a woman ('New Girl', 'I Love Lucy'). And it isn't like Cheeks changed after marriage, I'm sure he is essentially the same person he was when they were first dating (before the drunken marriage in 'Vegas). So personally I'm expecting the story line to be more about not trying to change people rather than how to successfully change people.
Love it love it love it. Jane and Cheeks really delivered the goods and am so excited to see what else is to come. Cameos galore (way to go, Joss!), side achingly good one liners and a hint of satire in there... Anything BUT an anticlimax if you ask me!
Sunfire: The writing has gotten even better than Season 1. How is that possible?"

I dunno, but I really think it has, and I already liked it. It's clever, and some nice pointed satire in there...

"This is not Children's Filth."
"Ya gonna be defeatist, or you gonna let me finish?"
"You know I'd gay-march on hepatitis-infected glass to change things..."
"... voice like a tulip... eyelashes I can fucking hear through the phone, and
that's the problem..."
"Total nontroversy."


Joss was perfection, and the dialogue they gave him wonderful - it seems like that Agent Wes would've been waay fun to play.

I quite like "Husbands" - and though I don't think I take Cheeks' brattiness quite as seriously as some of y'all, since it is to a large extent being played for laughs - it's a sitcom - I agree with Embers that some folks might more easily accept his behavior (and his great dialogue!) as endearing and funny if he were a cute li'l gal.

And to be serious for a sec, let's have a little sympathy for Cheeks in this situation - he's being asked to "tone himself down" and be "less gay", which is, you know, pretty effed up. 'Cos, you know, try to imagine an actor being asked to be "less het."
Yes, I agree with QuoterGal and embers. I don't see Cheeks as bratty AT ALL. If anything, I look at Brady as the "bad guy" here. He's asking his lover to be "less gay." such an insult. Cheeks sees nothing wrong with strutting their romance, and really, there shouldn't be a problem. I love this show, love the commentary and I think Cheek's performance is brilliant. You're mistaking a human being that's confident of himself and proud for brattiness.
Well, it's more than confidence. He also obviously likes being the center of attention. The character's got a diva streak a mile wide. Which is fun to watch. I do agree that asking your spouse to adopt a fake public persona is insulting, especially when it's asking them to hide the very traits that attracted you to one another in the first place.

dualistic explained the ending scene very nicely. I will add that the fake CW-like network is named "The BS" and the parts where it was playing while Brad was in the foreground working out how to act more "moral" make it a particularly scathing contrast to the main storyline. It did feel like it ran a little long at the end though, sort of out there on its own without any direct tie-back to Brady and Cheeks storyline afterward.
Well I certainly wouldn't want to be married to Cheeks, but it's a kick watching Brady deal with him. I find both of them pretty sympathetic.

And Joss' dialog was gold.
Joss as Brady's agent, obviously inspired by the movie execs he had to deal with over the years, was classic. He's got a career as a director who acts for a hobby. Worked for Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner, and even Tarantino.
Cheeks isn't just strutting the romance. He's tweeting pictures using fruit to make Brady have a giant fruit penis and testicles. The bedroom kiss? Should be a who cares situation no matter the sexuality (unless Brady simply dislikes having his personal life tweeted left and right, which is a position someone of any sexuality can rightfully take). But the fruit picture? Hilarious if both people agree; bratty and adolescent if not.

It's ludicrous for anyone to try to tell Cheeks to be less gay. Not so ludicrous for Brady to be exasperated that Cheeks turns interviews -- even ones he's not actually supposed to be in -- into sexual innuendo.

The flip side to the "people would just think its funny if Cheeks were a cute girl" is: why does his being gay get to excuse his being a jerk?

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-08-16 03:25 ]
jcs: "Well I certainly wouldn't want to be married to Cheeks, but it's a kick watching Brady deal with him. I find both of them pretty sympathetic."

No, I sure wouldn't want to be married to him, either (well, neither of them actually) - but he's a delight to watch. Definitely an attention whore & a diva - like so many people I know... ; ] I'll be interested to see how they sort it all out, 'cos I think they're definitely taking the opportunity to delve into the relationship a bit deeper & they'll give these two a chance to affect each other.

ETA: b!X:"... why does his being gay get to excuse his being a jerk?"

I don't think it does. I think he's set up to be an amusing self-absorbed kindof character who will actually learn a bit about caring for another person & learn some empathy.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2012-08-16 03:37 ]
why does his being gay get to excuse his being a jerk?

It doesn't. I don't think anyone here is saying that he isn't making mistakes as well. The expectations being placed on him are unrealistic and disrespectful, but some of his behavior crosses a line as well. A line that is still being negotiated only 3 weeks in.
For people who don't understand the final scene, that was what was on the TV while Brad is on the phone with his agent, who was telling him how being gay in the media is inappropriate. All the while the TV is showing two hot girls having a sexy pillow fight.
I don't think Cheeks' obnoxiousness is justified by his homosexuality, I think it is justified by it being hilarious. This is a ten minute web sitcom, not a documentary.
Actually (give the episode time) "Husbands" Season 2 has a lot to say about gender roles *as opposed* to sexuality - Cheeks is not more gay than Brady is. This topic is one of the reasons I find S2 so fascinating (well, that and Joss Whedon as Brady's agent).
First off, really enjoyed seeing new Husbands. Liked the new format and felt it gave the story a greater chance to breathe.

@Shapenew SO agree.

@insistondoubt Yup.

Re: The Bratty Cheeks Conundrum.

I don't find his behaviour quite so monstrous as some. I find some of it self-referential but in a playful, amusing way which actually strikes me as endearing. Yet, having said that, drama needs conflict so it is important the character pushes right up against the boundaries of the envelope.

I think there was a moment where Cheeks, confronted by his excessive zeal, and possible overuse of innuendo/humour, during interviews demonstrates awareness that his behaviour may be a tad outre. However, Brady sours the moment, by blaming, his Husband's sexuality. Reminding me of an in-house quote "play the ball not the man." Cheeks can only be less gay by sleeping with women. And within the gay community there is a horrible stricture at times about being the "right" type of gay. Bad enough to hear that from society at large but from your own partner?

@BlueEyedBrigadier I would go back and watch the whole of Season One - there is a lot of back and forth between the characters and Cheeks' sympathetic side gets a decent airing. I was put off Will & Jack by the one note personality strokes, and welcomed Husbands for providing greater variance and more rounded characters.

Kudos to the entire Husbands team for their obvious hard work. I think the results look gorgeous. And how many cameos/guest stars?
omg, geeking the fuck out over all the joss actors--- tara, anya...sierra...and then tricia helfer!! WTF.
Count me in as one of the people annoyed by Cheeks' behaviour. And for the record, Lucy annoyed me too! Doing his own thing is one thing. Pulling Brady into it when he clearly doesn't want to be? That's being a jerk, in my books.
But I enjoyed the episode as a whole and loved all the cameos.
tayriley - please use capitalization in your posts as per the rules. It makes them easier to read. And tone it down on the swearing too. Thanks.
I loved it and I find the writing particularly amazing. For such brief scenes, they're packing in a lot of subtext, both cultural and characterwise.

Cheeks' reaction to the "morality clause" was perfect -- "that's my mish state verbate!". I think the brattiness is the ideal vehicle for this. It's a sitcom, not a lecture. And for all his "inappropriateness", he's the one who's brave enough to be himself while Brady still needs to hide behind a semblance of straightitude.

IMO, it's a great marriage -- of screwball comedy tropes and gay equality issues -- but it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, of course.
I would not find Cheeks behavior cute if portrayed as a woman. Bratty, immature, self-centered female characters who are supposed to be seen as cute usually make me grit my teeth and turn off a show altogether.

I absolutely agree Cheeks has the right to be upset when told to be "less gay" and I am hoping that the problems with that will be one of the points to the season. It has some nice levels going in that his sexual preference IS a problem for people who object to the first tweet of them kissing, but his immature, bratty behavior rather than sexual preference is the problem for the person he is supposed to care about. By letting the strangers who objected to the tweet define the problem, the situation gets worse and further from resolution. It is a classic problem between any couple who is being pressured by the outside world. I like that Cheeks stands his ground, but I hate his total self-centeredness.
Where was Emma Caufield?
Cheeks makes me laugh - which I think is mostly why he's written like that - for laughs.

I must say: re: Lucy (or Grace, for that matter): I didn't find Lucy very amusing, even as a kid. And Grace just set my teeth on edge, whereas the self-absorption of both Karen & Jack in Will & Grace just cracked me the hell up.

It's like the horribility of Patsy and Edina in Absolutely Fabulous - either you find them funny, or you don't. For some people, their narcissism and selfishness is just appalling - and for some (like me) it's hysterical. And Cheeks as a character is wittier than either of them.

Possibly, for some, it's just chacun à son goût. But it's interesting to consider what is "acceptable" gay, and see how that might play into dislike of Cheeks.

Re: the "make Cheeks less gay" thing - Cheeks himself says it in this riff:

"Less gay? Less gaaaayyy... less gay like you. Because you're less gay. You do get what gay means, don't you, Brady?... the only thing that makes you gay is having an exclusive membership to the same-sex sex club... You are gay because you're attracted to men. That's it... You sleep with men."

Re: viewing figures:"...drama needs conflict so it is important the character pushes right up against the boundaries of the envelope."

Yup - it's definitely a factor.
To be clear, I'm not saying there's no acceptable narrative reason to write Cheeks as a self-absorbed brat. I'm just saying he's written that way. Because he is. I'm also just saying I hope that's actually addressed, otherwise Brady, as much as he's pushing in the wrong direction himself, is kind of an idiot for being with him.
Amrita: Emma Caufield was the sports interviewer asking Brady if he didn't start off with a pitching career (I didn't notice her at first either, because I was looking at Brady & Cheeks).
Thanks, embers! Must watch it again...
still smiling ... and yeah, for Joss, too. ;-)

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